China Muslim

  • Islam is lifelong learning

    It has been a long time wish of mine to visit a Chinese Muslim state. Being a Muslim and learning Mandarin as a second language, I have always been fascinated by the eastern and Chinese culture. An amalgamation of both, is a dream come true.

    Locals selling Halal food

    With the blessed company of Sister Mariah Mah and my best buddy at work, Ms Mary, we embarked on this journey to Zhaotong City in Yunnan Province. The whole journey was an eye opening one, from the stream of friendly Muslims, donning songkok (hats/caps) and tudung (hijab), greeting “salaam” on the streets to rows of mouth-watering healthy halal Chinese cuisine. The locals both Muslims and non Muslims coexisted very peacefully.

    The streets of Zhao tong was a mix of trendily clad women among backdrops of old vintage buildings. The cold spring weather was perfect for the long walks that you can take to get your best deals in the wholesale markets.

    These old ladies from farming villages are mostly illiterate with little knowledge of Islam and every year Bro Hassan Lee of Mao hua jie Masjid organises a 3 day stay in learning session for them. Food Transport and teachers’ remuneration are all sponsored by Donors for this Lifelong Learning Project conducted every year for groups of illiterate elderly Muslims n Muslimah from remote rural village to learn about Islam.

    We took a ride on the bumpy roads with scenic view, to visit the learning center and preschools that have been built to benefit the community in Guizhou.Province We witnessed how the intention of one lady (Sister Mariah Mah) can not only benefit the community there, but she also created the opportunity for many of us to reach out to this Chinese village.

    This short trip was a reminder to me that Islam is lifelong learning. From listening to the beautiful recitation of Al-fatihah by a 9 year old, to meeting a group of elderly women who had travelled to study the religion in a madrasah, I have been reminded that there are no constraints in life, ONLY I SET MY OWN LIMITS.

    Fahimah Begam Bte Jalaludeen, ITE Lecturer-Mentor/Social Media & Web Development, School of Electronics & Infocomm Technology 

  • Alhamdulillah, I was given the opportunity to join the Qurban Tour in China in 2016/1437H.

    Personally, the experience was eye-opening and wonderful. It was amazing to meet Chinese Muslims and see how they practice Islam in their country. On Eid Al-Adha, we went to a Masjid in Zhaotong City which also has a full-time Madrasah in its premise. Before the Eid prayers commenced, everyone lined-up outside of the Masjid and then proceeded to enter the Masjid while saying the Takbir. Our group joined the crowd and marched-in together with the congregation. I love how respectful they graced Eid Al-Adha. It felt like I was transported back to when I did my Umrah and we repeatedly said the Talbiyah“LabbaikaAllahumma,Labbaik, Labbaikalaashareekalakalabbaik.Innal-Hamdawanni'matalakawalmulk La shareekalakLabbaik.” before entering Mekkah and meeting the Ka’abah.

    After the Eid Prayer concluded, we went to witness the qurban of the cows, sheeps and goats at the open area in compound of the Masjid. The men oversaw the slaughtering while the women helped in the preparation of the Eid Meal. After we had our breakfast we headed to an Abattoir (slaughterhouse) nearby where some of us witnessed our own sheep being slaughtered.

    We then headed to Yang Tzai Village, a 2-hour bumpy ride from Zhaotong City and visited two Masjid there, Masjid Al-Fattah and Masjid Al-Falah to complete all our group’s qurban. After which the meat was cut and myself together with three others personally gave out the qurban meat to the villagers there. It was a fruitful experience to go through the whole process of witnessing our own qurban then taking the meat and handing it out personally to the poor villagers who get to eat red meat once a year. Alhamdulillah for this experience.

    During the rest of the trip, we visited the Muslim Civilisation Park, a Mysterious Mosque and went Apple-picking. When we flew back to Yunnan City from Zhaotong City, we managed to visit the Big Masjid there and had a chance to savour their halal delicacies!

  • Testimonial From Nur Faizah

    I am very happy that I went for the trip with Miss Mah to help with the construction work of Al Falah preschool. Alhamdulillah I was given the opportunity to be part of the works towards education for the children of Little Stone Bridge village.

    It was such a great experience such that I tried many new things such as laying bricks, making cement and cementing. Despite the language barrier, I managed to still communicate with the locals who were also building the school to help me with my cementing work. I was amazed at how pleasant and welcoming everyone there were. I was enlightened by the simplicity of their lives and how to appreciate all the little things. We experienced water supply cut every two days and sometimes everyday while we were there. But after a while we got used to it and relied less on the water supply. It made me feel so thankful for the constant water supply and a luxurious spread of food at home.

    The weather added to my pleasant experience as well. At night I was surrounded by a blanket of stars - and shooting stars (gasp!) - and masyaAllah, it made me realize how little I was and how almighty He is.

    Thank you for this eye-opening experience.

    Nur Faizah, Advisor

  • Testimonial From Nuraqida

    The overseas expedition trip to China was a very humbling one. I was given the chance to aid in the preparation to complete Al-Falah preschool by helping paint the walls of the facility and I also had the opportunity to interact with the kids in Al-Fatah preschool for a day. Thank you to Miss Mah for providing the platform for us to interact and offer what we could to the kids in China. In the course of this trip, it really opened my eyes to the vast world out there and also how privileged I am. Miss Mah’s passion to help the kids in China even at her age is very inspiring Masya Allah. Insya Allah if there is another chance, I would love to help Miss Mah again to better the lives of the children in China.

    Nuraqida, Vice-Head

  • Testimonial From Siti Nurhamizah

    This year is my 2nd year doing Overseas CIP in China under the supervision of Miss Mariah Mah. It was great to visit back the kindergarten which we worked at 2 years ago for our OCIP. The first OCIP in China was a really meaningful and eye opening one which was also a main reason why I wanted to come back the second time round.

    As a teacher myself, I believe in the power of education and I do hope our little effort and contribution in making their school a slightly better and more conducive place for them to study in could be a good start to their brighter future, InsyaAllah. The trip itself was a life lesson - one which I probably couldn't experience in Singapore and I am glad to be given the 2nd chance to gain more learning points, knowledge and experience that I hope to apply in the near future.

    Siti Nurhamizah, Programmes Officer

  • Testimonial From Nazreen

    Working with Ms Mah was a very interesting experience. It is both liberating and comforting. On one hand, Ms Mah is very much involved in our daily activities. She plans where and what we eat, whom we work with, how we live and who we interact with. Travelling and working with her feels like you always have a strong maternal figure looking out for you and looking over you. At the same time, she gives you a lot of time and space to decide for yourself what exactly you would like to do on your trip. If you would like time alone as a team without her, she respects that too. This allows us to venture, get lost, explore and grow as individuals as well as in a team. Working with Ms Mah is a good balance of the two very important aspects of travel.

    Nazreen, Head of Publicity

  • Testimonial From Saiful Irfan

    I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity to embark on an OCIP trip with Miss Mah to China.

    There were plenty of lessons to bring home from the expedition. I got the chance to meet, interact and learn from my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters from another country and a different culture. How they live their lives particularly, is admirable, as they thought me how to be happy even when they have little. I've also learnt to become more appreciative of the blessings that are showered upon us everyday. It reminded me how to always help others in need and treat them as family of our own. One of the most satisfying feelings after the trip is definitely to witness the smiles on the faces of these kids.

    Thank you Miss Mah for the opportunity!

    Saiful Irfan, Publicity Officer

  • Testimonial From Dinie Solihah

    Upon our arrival to China, we were greeted by Rose, our guide who went with us on a chartered bus. We stopped for a toilet break, had some snacks and continued our journey. We had dinner at a nice restaurant and I really liked the food there! We then had to break into groups to go to the village in small vans. The journey was long and treacherous but made easy with the help of Ms Mah. Had she not been our liaison officer it would have been really hard to access the good restaurants, the mosques and villages. Even though she was not there when we were in the village, she remained in contact and called us daily to check up on us and keep in contact. However, I would appreciate it if we were being told regarding the absence of kids in the kindergarten earlier, we could have planned a different itinerary to maximise our time there. I had fun nonetheless and I am very thankful for the help of Ms Mah. May Allah bless her always and reward her with Jannah in the hereafter.

    Dinie Solihah, Welfare Officer

  • Qurban Trip 10 - 18 September 2016

    I brought my mum to Zhaotong, Yunnan to join the 9 Days Qurban Tour, 10 – 18 September 2016 organised by Ms Mariah Mah.

    Every stop from the Qurban to other sightseeing places was an enriching experience for both of us.

    Following are the places we visited:

    Islamic garden and museum to see 99 title of Allah attribute in oil painting.

    Prayed at an ancient 300 years old Sufi mosque built without using a single nail. Some said Angels built this mosque.

    Visited Mao Hua Jie Madrasah for Eid prayer and followed by the 1st Qurban ritual and moved on to other areas for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Qurban locations in Guizhou province.

    Al Fatah Preschool and Masjid.

    Madrasah and Mosque in Kaiyuan city which a Singaporean helped to complete. Mingle with Da Zhuang’s muslim community and visited an ancient styled mosque of 200 years old.

    Prayed at the Grand Mosque of Shadian for Friday prayer at Shadian City.

    Charming Jiuxiang ( magnificent underground karst caves with waterfalls, limestones and cable car ride)

    Our tour group of 28 pax hailed from Singapore, Malaysia, Palembang and UK. Masha Allah! the group contributed 4 cows and 48 sheeps. Alhamdullilah!

    Ms Mah instructed her staff to pay special attention and care extended to my mum and another elderly (Melor’s mother) making sure that both elderly ride in a comfortable car instead of the mini van when we visited Al fatah preschool as the road condition (gravel stone) was rough.

    My mum and I would like to say a big thank you and Jazakallah for all your help and generosity during our trip. It’s been an amazing journey!

    Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

    Junainah Abas (Jun), Hjh. Jaimah Kasmawi, Singapore

  • Testimonial From Muhd Faruq

    Definitely thankful to Ms Mah for giving us the opportunity to work under her and make a positive difference to the school compound at Al-Falah. She gave us a theme to work with but wasn’t a single bit demanding nor controlling and instead allowed us to run our imagination freely and accepted whatever we had in mind. That made it easier for us to work and carry out what was needed to be done. Aside from that, I appreciate how hospitable she was by ensuring that we have a comfortable dorm to sleep in and at times she cooked for us local dishes which made us feel so much at home. It was certainly a pleasure working under Ms Mah and I wouldn’t mind helping Ms Mah again in the future.

    Muhd Faruq, Head of Finance